When David Bowie died in early 2016, we were not surprised to read a tweet from the German Foreign Office mentioning how he helped bring down the Berlin Wall. We read it and started looking for a David Bowie Berlin Concert to see him in action.
One of the first items we found was the Glass Spider Tour of 1987 which became legendary for many reasons. Some say it was the worst tour Bowie ever did. Below we’re going to describe this concert in Berlin to you.
In June 1987, David Bowie performed in front of the Reichstag as a part of his Glass Spider Tour. The Reichstag was an empty building since the famous Reichstag fire, and it would be so different from today that we cannot even imagine how it would be to watch Bowie from there. In front of the building, thousands of fans filled the Platz der Republik as a part of the Concert for Berlin.
The location is more than special here since the Reichstag was close to the Berlin Wall and East Berlin. This act was deliberate, and it was an act of provocation to the East German authorities. Some stories tell that at least a quarter of the speakers were pointed into the eastern side of Berlin. The idea was to bring some good music to the other side of the wall and question why it existed.
If you were in East Berlin, you could do as thousands of fans did and tune into the Rundfunk im amerikanischen Sektor since they broadcasted the concert live. We’re not sure how East German authorities would behave if they catch you listening to it, but we’re sure it could be worth it.
The people listening to it even got a mention from David Bowie at the end of the song Time Will Crawl. He said, in German, something like, “the band sends our best wishes to all of our friends who are on the other side of the wall.” We can only imagine how exciting this concert was.
David Bowie never forgot this show, and in an interview in 2003, he mentioned how important that performance was. He said that the Glass Spider Tour concert in front of the Reichstag was one of the most emotional performances he’s ever did. He was in tears during the concert, and he felt like it was a double concert.
The backdrop of the stage was the Berlin Wall, and thousands of people were on the eastern side of it listening to the band. When David Bowie played Heroes, he says it felt like an anthem, like a prayer, especially in a way that would be impossible to describe today.
The playlist in this article is incomplete for reasons we’re not sure about, but you can look at the concert’s setlist here. If you want to read more about David Bowie in Berlin, where he lived in the German capital, and how he composed the song Warszawa or Neuköln… We have all these stories here for you, from David Bowie fans to other fans.
David Bowie Berlin Concert 1987: The Glass Spider Tour in front of the Reichstag in Berlin
The cover picture from David Bowie’s Berlin Concert with the Reichstag and the Glass Spider stage is from welt.de.